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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How To Steal With Class

Thievery is an art and done well, the result can even be original.

Some of you might recall a post where I mentioned being scraped, that is, my blog posts were copied, more or less verbatim. It still happens, but a lot less often now that I attach my rss notifier that tells them they are copying original content.

Nowadays, the worst I see are suspiciously similar blog titles or unique content points I'd written earlier.

Fingerprints are easy to find when it's a pilfered post. Try Googling parts of your blog post and see where else it has traveled.

That's not to say all thievery is evil. I get a lot of my blog ideas from other posts, from the news, and from what I hear on the radio. That's how I got my idea for this blog post. The trick--or I should say, the honorable thing to do is to give credit where credit is due.

In this case, my idea for a thievery post came from Romance Writers Revenge. The original post was called, We're All Thieves.

While it could be said that imitation is the highest form of flattery, it ticks me off when it's done on the sly.

Everyone wants to be recognized for their contributions, right?

The only time I won't link to someone who's given me an idea for a post is if the original conversation that birthed the idea was private, or if it threatens to tell more about someone than I know they'd feel comfortable sharing.

Linking is a good thing, and it's a great way not only to introduce new blogs or writers to your audience, but to introduce yourself too. Sometimes I find people who I didn't even know read my blog, just by following a Google alert to their blog when they mention me.

It makes me feel appreciated to see my name on their blog. And in return, they've earned a new reader too.

Link well and link often. Karma pays you back either way.


Dru said...

how do you do that rss notifier thing?

I've definitely discovered several blogs, including yours, when I clicked on a link in one of my daily blog reads.

Have a good Tuesday.

Maria Zannini said...

Since most of my stolen posts appear to be taken from an rss feed like the ones that goes to a mailbox or Google Reader, I added a notice that reads:

This Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at is guilty of copyright infringement. Please report any violations to Maria Zannini.

Since the thieves use an automated tool that collects information, it'll also pick up the notice.

It can't stop people who manually lift stuff, but those are usually small fry anyway and don't have much of a readership.